Former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker knocked Donald Trump and his team for not further investing in Tim Michels’ campaign after endorsing the construction exec in the GOP primary for governor.
“I would have liked to have seen in Wisconsin and elsewhere across the country candidates he endorsed, it would have been great if the former president’s campaign team had actually invested,” Walker said on WISN’s “UpFront,” which is produced in partnership with WisPolitics.com. “It would have been great for all the money he’s raising if he spent some of it on Michels and some of the key races across the country. That didn’t happen, or largely didn’t happen, and I think that was a factor.”
Walker says hindsight is 20/20 in analyzing how Michels’ campaign could have performed better in key parts of the state, including the WOW, Dane and Milwaukee counties.
“I think he worked incredibly hard,” Walker said. “Would there have been things we would have done differently? Yeah, but those are always easy to point out after the fact.”
Walker, president of Young America’s Foundation, says the GOP needs to reflect on how it will target growing Dem strongholds in Wisconsin ahead of 2024.
“I believe it can’t be just weeks before the election, particularly with younger voters in Dane County specifically, and Madison is a good example of that,” Walker said. “We have to make inroads with younger voters, with young people.”
Also on the show, U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, an early and longtime supporter of Mandela Barnes, says losing by about 27,000 votes to GOP Sen. Ron Johnson was “miraculous.”
Moore backed her early endorsement and the decision by every other Democrat to drop out of the race before the Democratic primary in August.
“Whoever emerged from the primary would have had the same things to overcome,” Moore said. “If you’re suggesting there was low turnout in Milwaukee, who among the four had the potential to draw the most people out?”
Unofficial results show about 47,000 fewer people voted in Milwaukee County than in 2018.
“As primary polling showed that if we had a chance to snatch this seat, which was an uphill battle from the beginning, Mandela had the best chance,” Moore said.
The congresswoman from Milwaukee also criticized the national party’s decision to pull funding out of the 3rd Congressional District, where Republican Derrick Van Orden beat Democrat Brad Pfaff 52 percent to 48 percent, a smaller margin than many predicted.
“I could say some unkind things,” Moore said. “But I would never want to be chair of DCCC. That is almost an impossible job under the best circumstances.”
Former U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan told “UpFront” Trump is “a drag on our ticket.”
“I honestly don’t think he’ll get the nomination at the end of the day,” Ryan said ahead of a likely Trump announcement Tuesday. “And the reason I think that is because we want to win. We want to win the White House, and we know with Trump we’re so much more likely to lose.”
Ryan, the former House Speaker and congressman from Janesville, said the GOP should have done better last week.
“I think we’re going to have to do a lot of soul searching and head scratching and looking through and parsing the numbers as to why we didn’t perform as well as we would have liked to,” Ryan said. “We thought we were going to do better.”
Assembly Minority Leader Greta Neubauer cast doubt on Dems supporting legislation that would add exceptions to Wisconsin’s 1849 abortion ban for rape and incest, a move signaled by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos.
“It’s hard to say right now,” Neubauer told “UpFront.” “We have not discussed this as a caucus, and we, of course, need to look at the landscape and see what’s possible in Wisconsin, consider our options if that bill were to come forward.”
Democrats instead are pushing to repeal the 1849 law and restore access to abortion.
Neubauer also expressed doubt about backing a Vos proposal to boost public school funding in exchange for universal school choice.
“We have serious concerns about more taxpayer money going to unaccountable private schools,” Neubauer said. “Again, we are always open with talking with our colleagues on the other side of the aisle about potential solutions that benefit Wisconsinites, but what we believe is that the people of Wisconsin have made very clear that they want more funding for their local schools.”
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